According to Myers-Briggs personality test that I took last year, I have an INTJ (Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging) personality. This is a rare personality and only 0.8 % of women population in the world possess this type of personality (16personalities.com). Yeay! 😀
Is it hard for me, as an introvert, to fit in the society? The answers are yes and no. I grew up as a bookworm. Other people may feel insulted with that stereotype, but I don’t. I’m proud to be called a “bookworm”. Just so you know, I read the Indonesian translated version of “Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul”, as well as Enid Blyton’s “St. Clare’s” series when I was in 4th grade. I started reading those Indonesian literatures (such as Pram’s “Bumi Manusia”,Ayu Utami’s “Larung”, Fira Basuki’s “Atap” series) when I was 6th grade. I read Dee’s “Supernova : Ksatria, Putri, dan Bintang Jatuh”, when I was 7th grade. I read Mitch Albom’s “Tuesdays with Morrie” when I was in 8th grade. Yes I still perfectly remember everything.
During my teenage-hood when I experienced my puberty ups and downs moments, it seemed so important to be exist in the peer-society. As an introvert I always feel like an outsider. When I was in middle school, the situation was still easy because my best friend is also a fellow introvert. But the situation was harder for me when I entered high school as I moved from a Catholic school to a public high school. Frankly speaking, the beginning of high school was a disaster. I didn’t made so many friends during high school. People say high school is the best moment of anyone’s life. Well, it didn’t applied to me. It wasn’t my best moment, but it wasn’t the worst either. I enjoyed my high school moment in my way. I prefer to spend my time during the second break periods in the library, rather than going to the canteen. The craziest moment was when I didn’t invited for prom. It wasn’t a big deal for me though, as that prom was a little bit “illegal” because the students didn’t get any formal permissions from school. But, still I felt sad. Years later (a.k.a one day in early August 2017) I found an article in Pinterest, saying that “an Introvert likes to receive invitations, although at the end they prefer not to go”. Haha. That’s so relatable.
I started to be an outgoing person when I entered college. I enjoyed made friends with quite a lot of people. I involved in some organizations while still maintaining my academic performance. I was happy that finally people know about my talent. I was happy because finally my opinions are heard and counted. But honestly, during that times, I often thought that I was living other people’s life. I wore masks just to fit in the society. Even I wrote an article in this blog back then in 2010. If you read that article, it was so clear that I tried so hard to be a little bit more extrovert.
But then as I entered my adulthood and went to the UK to do my masters, I didn’t really care about what people think of me. I was so lucky that Europeans are unlike Indonesians. I could live my life as comfortable as I wanted to. Thankfully in early 2013 I went back to Indonesia with a different mindset. Yes, I am an introvert. So what?
Right after I found out that I am an INTJ, I started researching about that topic. I read countless articles about introversion. I read this book about INTJ written by Dan Johnson. This book made me even more confident with myself and grateful that I choose to follow a career path which is in-line with my personality. Not everyone can have a life as enjoyable as I am. Then I also read this book by Susan Cain, who started a “quiet” revolution-which I am currently re-reading it). Reading this book, I feel that I’m not alone in this world. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that I can’t be a leader. Being an introvert doesn’t mean that I am a nerd. Currently our world needs more listeners, as there are now so many people who love to talk without even thinking. This world also needs more followers. If everyone wants to be leaders, then who will be followers?
I’m proud to be an INTJ and also a Piscean (which means that I’m an introvert-melancholic person). Not many people can enjoy their solitudes. I have many friends but I choose to whom I speak to. I like my small inner-circle of friends. I feel awkward whenever I am trapped in the new crowds, but once I find someone who have similar interests and with whom I feel comfortable, believe me, I will be a very nice companion. Introvert can be crazy, as well. You can ask my friend! Yes I feel pissed off sometimes when I have to interact with people who don’t have similar levels of understanding about certain topics. Haha.
For all of those fellow INTJs out there, just believe that we’re specials. To sum up this article, I want you to watch this Ted talk delivered by Susan Cain.
This article is inspired by a short discussion last Saturday, with an INFJ. 😀